1) The offense is on life support.
Clemson made the Georgia Tech defense look like Alabama or Georgia. They aren’t. We just lack any kind of vertical passing threat or real identity on offense. I’m sure QB play, coaching, blocking and everything else on offense will be dissected, but we can all agree production was bad. Really bad. Possibly the worst in the Dabo Swinney era. The mind boggling thing is that we have more talent on this team than we have maybe ever had. It’s downright embarrassing, and something needs to happen to get it kick-started. After three games, to say more is expected would be an understatement.
2) The ACC is downright terrible.
Clemson losing to UGA in week 1 was respectable being that it was very competitive and close. Miami getting blown out by Alabama was expected, but one would think they would at least make it past the first quarter being competitive. The North Carolina hype was dismissed immediately with a loss to Virginia Tech. Miami got handed it’s second blowout by Michigan State. The powerhouse Clemson has no semblance of an offense and would likely not stack up well against other elite programs, at least right now. The ACC has never really been a football first conference, but now it looks like maybe they shouldn’t be a football conference, period.
3) The defense is elite, and they may HAVE to be.
Three games in a row, no offensive touchdowns allowed. Folks were questioning if Brent Venebles’ defense could adjust to the hurry up after being dissected by Ohio State. Well, I think that has been answered loud and clear. He is one if not the best defensive minds in all of football. This defense is loaded at every position. The defensive line leads the way, but make no mistake; this group is downright nasty at every position. Bryan Bresee is just a special player. This guy is unblockable and a force on that line. He is a dominant presence that will only see one more year at Clemson before he goes high in the NFL draft, barring injury. Also, Andrew Mukuba needs recognition for his outstanding safety play as a freshman. This guy may already be the teams best safety.
4) Will Shipley has clearly sperated himself in the running back room.
This guy has it all: speed, explosiveness, power, and good hands. He powered through goal line defenders to show that he is not just an edge rusher. The offense just looks better when he is on the field. Pass protection is generally the weakness of a freshman running back, so that is something to keep an eye on, but wow, this dude can do great things when the rock is in his hands.
5) DJ Uiagalelei may be struggling, but the guy has heart.
That 3rd and 14 run for a first down was downright impressive. He is a mountain of a man, and isn’t afraid to lower that shoulder to deliver the hit, not just take one. It was pretty cool watching him jawing back and forth with defenders after he ran them over. That being said he clearly has touch throws and other things to work on, but I have no doubt the young man will embrace the challenge to improve week in and out.
6) Is this going to be one of those years?
Remember back a few years ago when the Clemson Tigers could’ve been called the Cardiac Cats? These close games may be unnerving, but they sure are more fun than a 50 point blowout. Personally, I think close games are good for a team. They build chemistry, confidence, and resilience. A win is a win, even an ugly one. But you can bet the sharks will smell blood in the water regarding that Clemson offense. If this year turns out like some in years past, you may need your blood pressure meds but you can bet on some exciting games!
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